|Be Prepared - Before the Power Goes Out|
PowerStream is committed to providing our customers with safe and reliable electricity distribution services. However power outages or electrical emergencies can occur without warning and we encourage you to plan ahead and be prepared.
Local emergency responders also recommend that residents plan to be self-sufficient for 72 hours in an emergency situation.
BEFORE the Power Goes Out
Keep the PowerStream Outage Communication Service number easily accessible. 1-877-777-3810
Have at least one telephone with an attached handset for emergency communications. Cordless telephones do not work when the power is out.
Build an emergency kit. Emergency supplies are a must and a special place, easily accessible in the dark, should be set aside just for them. Here is a list of basic components to help you begin to assemble your emergency kit:
What else might you need? To build a complete disaster supplies kit, the Red Cross provides Build a Kit and other emergency preparedness information at www.redcross.ca/prepare.
Make sure your home has a battery operated smoke alarm on every level and a battery operated carbon monoxide alarm. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms electrically connected to your home’s power supply will not work when the electricity is off, unless they have battery back-ups. Test your smoke alarms to find out if they work.
Ensure there is always sufficient fuel in your vehicle to meet possible emergency travel needs.
Install surge protection devices on sensitive equipment such as televisions, computers, microwave ovens and fax machines to help protect them from surges when power is restored.
If someone in your household uses life support equipment, make arrangements for a back-up power supply or transportation to another facility in the event of a power outage.
If you have a garage door opener, familiarize yourself with the manual operation of the unit so that in an emergency you can get out of the garage quickly and safely.
If you are considering purchasing a standby portable generator, follow this link to Important Information from the Electrical Safety Authority.
DURING a Power Outage
If your power goes out unexpectedly, check your circuit breakers or fuses. If a circuit has tripped or a fuse has blown, reset the breaker or replace the fuse to restore your power. If you still have no power, call the PowerStream Outage Communication Service 1-877-777-3810 to report a power outage or hear when service will be restored. This service has the capability to handle thousands of incoming calls at one time.
Ensure that all stove elements and ovens are turned OFF and that nothing has been placed on top of the stove. Use flashlights and chemical light sticks for alternative lighting.
Use extreme caution when using candles and lanterns for alternative lighting and follow these important fire safety rules from the Ontario Fire Marshal.
Never use charcoal or gas barbeques, camping heating equipment, or standby generators indoors. Deadly carbon monoxide gas is produced by any device fuelled by natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood.
Unplug as many appliances as possible. This helps to stabilize the electricity distribution system when power is restored. Unplug electronic equipment to avoid damage when power is restored. Televisions, computers, microwave ovens and answering machines are sensitive to surges when the power is restored. Leave one light on so you know when power is restored. To supply air to a fish tank, use a small bicycle pump.
Do not open the freezer door unless absolutely necessary. A partly filled freezer will keep most food frozen for 12 - 24 hours. In a full freezer, food will remain frozen for 24 - 48 hours. Don’t let the cold air escape from your refrigerator. Keep the door closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage. Most refrigerated food will keep for 16 hours.
Avoid downed power lines. Don’t allow anyone to touch or drive over a power line – even an experienced power lineperson can’t tell if a line is energized just by looking at it. Always assume a downed line is “live”, even if it’s not jumping or sparking.
Do not enter a flooded home or building. If your home or business is flooded, never enter standing water unless you’re absolutely sure the main power has been shut off.
If you have a portable generator, operate it outdoors only, positioned carefully to ensure that fumes do not enter the building.
If using portable space heaters, woodstoves or fireplaces for alternative home heating, follow these important fire safety rules from the Ontario Fire Marshal:
Use extreme caution when cleaning up storm damage on your property. Downed or damaged power lines can send electrical currents through tree branches and metal fences, so survey the area carefully - especially if you'll be using a pruning pole, axe or chainsaw.
Please do not attempt to assist emergency and utility crews. In an emergency situation, if you would like to assist with recovery and clean-up efforts, it’s best to contact your local Red Cross to see where help is needed most.
AFTER Power is Restored
Plug in only the most essential appliances. Waiting 10 -15 minutes before plugging in and turning on equipment such as refrigerators and air conditioning units gives the power system time to stabilize.
Check to make sure the freezer and refrigerator are working and what food can be refrozen:
Restock your emergency kit and return it to its regular storage place.